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Teeth grinding (bruxism) is the unconscious gnashing, grinding, or clenching of the teeth. It usually occurs during sleep. This process can grind away parts of the teeth, leaving flattened, worn-down biting edges; fractured enamel; and painful or loose teeth.
Although the exact cause of bruxism is not always known, it may be caused by:
Talk to your dentist if grinding is causing injury to your teeth. Your dentist will determine which treatment is right for you. A mouth guard may be recommended to help protect your teeth from further damage.
Last Revised: July 20, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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